Consolidation of the softer trend in US employment expected in April

Compared with the last several months of strong NFP results, the March reading surprised considerably to the downside with only 88K jobs added. April employment numbers, due out this week, should indicate whether the slowdown is here to stay or if it was just a one-time weakness.

NFP

Analysts' forecasts regarding the outcome of the next NFP report are in a tighter range this time, as the majority expect only a slight pick-up in US job growth, between 100K and 150K. "Given the dismal March figure and the on-going effect of fiscal tightening, I do not expect to see a good NFP number," says Phil McHugh, who points to an increase of 125K. Luciano Janelli, who reminds that recent US housing results leave much to be desired, also "would suspect the current soft patch to persist for some time."

Only two of the market experts polled for the forecast report predict that US jobs numbers will come in below 100K in March, which, as Valeria Bednarik suggests, "will be indeed a setback for US recovery, and the idea of an end for QE later this year will lose strength, putting the American dollar under pressure particularly against its European rivals."

But there are some optimistic voices as well, such as Adam Narczewski, who believes that the dismal March NFP reading was “a onetime thing” and expects an increase in the 130-160K range as well as an upward revision of the last weak reading. Ilian Yotov is even more upbeat saying that “ job creation is expected to pick up the pace in April”, rising by 160K and giving “the USD a boost on expectations that the Fed might take the first step toward monetary policy tightening sooner rather than later.”

US NFP numbers for April will be released on May 3 at 12:30 GMT.
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